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Fanfic / Linked in Life and Love

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Linked in Life and Love (AO3 link) is a RWBY fanfic written by | OmegaInfinity |, who also authored the Storm Hawks fic The Strength In Weakness.

In an AU where Faunus go into heat once a month, which they usually control via pharmaceuticals, Blake finds herself without her medication and the school on lockdown. Trapped with her teammates she is determined to ride it out through sheer willpower, but finds to her surprise that her teammates are willing to help her in her hour of need, even if it is awkward as all hell. In the aftermath, they find that maybe their feelings for each other are more than they ever suspected.

A Pollination fic without Enabler, Linked in Life and Love focuses mainly on the relationship between all four girls of team RWBY and them getting used to each other's extended family, all the while moving towards an earlier than canon conflict with Adam Taurus who's not too happy about his ex-girlfriend sleeping with the enemy.


Linked in Life and Love contains examples of:

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  • Accidental Proposal: Turns out, during a Faunus's heat, if they bump foreheads with you and you push back, that's an indication that you agree for them to give you a Mate's mark.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Ilia ends up giggling helplessly at Blake's story about how she ended up mated to three humans, calling it straight out of a trashy romance novel.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Branwen Tribe as a whole. After Raven returned to lead them, she managed to convert a mere bandit tribe into a private security company that sends five fighters in the place of one Huntsman. It's become quite lucrative, too, because Lionheart routinely hires them on for missions instead of his official Huntsmen.
  • Adult Fear: The reason Raven left is that after five years of assassination attempts the Cult of Salem convinced a five-year-old boy to give her a toy top as a reward for saving his village, and upon returning home she gave it to her daughters, Yang and Ruby to play with, only for it to explode in the middle of the living room, right in Yang's face, then only four years old.
  • Animal Jingoism: Downplayed. When Blake freaks out upon finding Ruby and Yang's dog Zwei in her bed, Yang asks her if it's a 'cat thing'. Blake exasperatedly replies no, it's not a 'cat thing', she was just surprised at a random dog in her bed, and she's not really fond of dogs.
  • Animal Motifs: In a dream that Yang has in chapter 67, Ruby seems to be represented by a wolf, while Weiss is a white fox. They are being attacked by a horned beast, probably a bull to represent Adam, and Yang's own animal is not clear, but has claws and roars, hinting at a bear or lion.
    • Chapter 71 confirms it is a lion, on account of Adam Taurus naming those exact animals from the dream when they confront him.
  • Anti-Villain: Roman and Neo are heading this way with the reveal that Ruby and Yang are Roman's nieces and that he used to be close to all of Team STRQ. Especially since Roman is planning to get rid of Taurus to protect Team RWBY and thus derail all of Cinder's plans.
    • There's another layer of this regarding Roman, since it's revealed that he became a criminal mastermind via his dealings with the criminal underworld, all to find his missing sister Summer.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After he finds out about Penny, Ozpin has one to his friend James Ironwood regarding her and the whole reason she was built (to be a host for Amber’s Maiden Powers):
    Ozpin: What of Penny herself? Does she get a say in this? Can she say 'no' if she wants?
    • When Ilia talks to Blake about her leaving the Fang as she did, once she learns how spur-of-the-moment it was (Blake didn't even have a change of clothes), she asks if Blake would have tried to get her to come with if her flight hadn't been so rushed. Blake admits that she doesn't know before asking if Ilia would have come if she had, forcing her to admit that she doesn't know either.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: After Roman spills the beans on Cinder's entire plan, General Ironwood asks him if this is accurate. The answer he gets is "No, General, I made it all up just to make you piss yourselves."
  • Attack Backfire: When Roman uses the EMP he had installed in the Paladin, although he takes Penny out of the fight, much to his surprise since he's unaware of her robotic nature, forcing Sun and Neptune to get her help, overall he does more damage to the mech than to his foes. There was a reason Neo advised against using it, after all.
  • Awful Truth:
    • Ruby and Yang get the fully unvarnished truth of the origins of their mother Summer Rose from their uncle Roman Torchwick, and they come to tears multiple times when they hear that their mum had lost her parents to the Grimm at a young age, had become a Street Urchin, and had to lie, cheat and steal just for her and her little brother to survive.
    • Roman laying out all of Cinder's plans to elicit enough fear to cause a Grimm invasion to Ozpin has several of these reactions, especially the part where Pyrrha is illusioned and tears Penny apart with her Magnetism Manipulation Semblance.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: With a dash of Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! - when she encounters two Atlassian soldiers who are looking for Penny, Weiss uses her (completely bogus) rights as a Schnee to not only get Penny out of trouble for running away, but allow her to spend the rest of the day with her and Ruby. Especially when she bluffs calling Winter to clarify things and the soldiers decide it's not worth the trouble.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Blake gets a three-for-one in the very first chapter, when she wakes up to find all her teammates in the same bed with her. And her nose confirms for her exactly what they did last night.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Not only do Ruby, Weiss, and Yang do this when Blake finds herself being harassed by a Faunus over her choice to mate a Schnee, but Penny pulls off a pretty nice save when she shows up at the bot fight just in time to prevent Yang from being punted off the freeway.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Roman says as much when talking about Team STRQ and the weird dynamic their daughters were born into.
    Roman: Between Silver Eyes mom, Bandit Queen mom, bad luck uncle, and conman uncle, not to mention Taiyang 'wouldn't-hurt-a-fly-but-can-crush-a-freaking-mountain-with-his-pinky-anyway' Xiao-Long... Even if everything had gone all sunshine and rainbows for us, those kids were doomed to weirdness from day one.
    • To say nothing of the relationship said daughters are in now: two half-sisters are sharing girlfriends, one of whom is the heir to a mega-corporation, and the other is a Faunus and the daughter of the man protesting against said corporation.
    • Blake and Weiss get in on this as well with their canon family issues. Blake's are sorted out pretty quickly once she actually talks to her parents whereas Weiss' are only compounded by her new relationship. She has a (thankfully uncalled for) freak out when Winter finds out and is shown at multiple points to be absolutely terrified at the prospect of her father even seeing her express affection for any of her girlfriends.
    • Up to Eleven come Chapter 59: Summer and Raven were the Official Couple of their team. Yang came about from Taiyang volunteering to be a donor for them. The big kicker is Ruby: her biological parents are Summer and Raven, thanks to advances in Homosexual Reproduction.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Yang learned to control her Semblance in part by reminding herself that she couldn't protect Ruby if she lost the fight she was in.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Yang and Ruby's reaction to finding out Roman Torchwick is Summer Rose's brother, and therefore, their uncle.
    • Adam has a similar reaction when Roman reveals this to Adam as justification for betraying the fanatical Faunus.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Ozpin does this to both Torchwick and Ironwood when they meet one another in chapter 65. He claims that the former was a deep undercover agent, helping keep tabs on criminal gangs, while the latter gets pulled into line with a simple remark about making decisions behind his back ... such as Penny's creation. Both subjects are not amused.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Turns out Ruby's Super Speed Semblance isn't as fun as first thought, when it's revealed she focuses her aura into her heart to accelerate it and her body, and trying to get the body to work in a way it's not supposed to gives off a lot of unnerving and unnatural sensations. Luckily, Ruby has had many years of using her Semblance for her body to get used to it; her teammates, not so much.
    • Yang's has a similar downside, she has a maximum amount of energy she can hold at one time, but her Semblance still tries to multiply the power when she hits her limits. If she lets it out, the worst she gets is microfractures that her Aura heals easily, but if she doesn't the energy tries to get out on its own, first by cracking her bones, then "boom", as she and Ruby put it. She broke her arms several times before figuring all of this out.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When Ozpin calls Ironwood out for creating Penny behind his back to be a host for the Fall Maiden's power, he argues about whether or not Penny even has a choice in the matter, while Ironwood counters with the point that Ozpin's candidate(s) might refuse to take up the power, leaving it stuck in the comatose Amber.
  • Break the Cutie: A downplayed example with Ruby. In the space of one day, she meets Raven Branwen, finds out that Raven and Summer are her mothers and that she never was Taiyang's biological daughter, that she had been lied to all these years, learns a bit more of why Raven abandoned them, (re)meets her uncle Roman, finds out that Summer was a Street Urchin as a kid, that one of her new girlfriend's exes is gunning for her head, and that a plan was brewing to kill her new robot friend and drown the city in Grimm. It's no wonder she really wants to sleep after having her entire world yanked out from under her.
  • Call-Back: When Taiyang reunites with Raven in Chapter 58, he gives her a back-breaking hug that squeezes all the air out of her, just like Yang did to Ruby in the first episode of the show. Which becomes a lot more significant in the next chapter...
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The surviving members of Team STRQ seem to have some hang-up about telling Ruby and Yang the truth of their parents, especially Raven. Roman takes some serious offense to that.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In a random lecture about Dust usage (where Ruby was playing around and got detention as a result), Weiss hears about some applications for Lightning Dust, one of which is enabling same-sex in-vitro fertilisation. Come The Reveal in Chapter 59, and we find out how Ruby was conceived from both Summer and Raven.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Taiyang turns out to be this for Raven, who was in a relationship with Summer Rose. Yang was the result. He is also godfather to both Yang and Ruby.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Major one in Chapter 71 - where the confrontation with Adam Taurus and the White Fang reveals that Adam had a Plan B.
  • Coming-Out Story: A secondary plot in the later half of Act I and the transition into Act II: Blake has to confront whether she wants to continue hiding her identity as a Faunus, which includes her new Mates, or show them off and be proud of all parts of being a Faunus, Mate's Marks, ears and all.
  • Composite Character: An odd and comedic example. Raven was actually the bird that Ruby collided with at the start of initiation.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Roman rigged the guns he gave Adam with a fifty-thousand-volt taser in the stocks, rigged to go off when exposed to a specific radio signal, as insurance. Ilia sabotaged the rest prior to the trap.
  • Cry into Chest:
    • Ilia ends up sobbing into Kali's chest when they finally confront each other, and Ilia reveals just how much she was hurt by Blake's departure from the White Fang.
    • Blake does this to her parents after seeing them in person for the first time in years.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Just like her younger sister, Winter can't help but start to thaw slightly when she starts chatting with Ruby.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": The overly formal Ciel Soleil has to be told by Weiss and Blake not to call them "Miss Schnee" or "Princess", both because they don't like the formality, and the latter, despite her parents ruling Menagerie, are merely a chieftain's family, not a royal one.
  • Don't Split Us Up: Summer Rose and her brother Roman Torchwick were orphaned at a young age, and the moment the former heard the inkling that she and her brother could be split up in the system, she decided that becoming street kids was better than that fate.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: What could cause Roman, conman and criminal mastermind, to grow a conscience? Finding out that two of the girls in the line of fire of him and his associates are his nieces.
  • Exact Words: When Raven asks Roman if Neo is trustworthy, Roman promises her that Neo "won't say a word".
  • Explosive Results: Ruby's has had a few.
    • Once again, while doing a Dust project with Weiss, her using the wrong Dust types has this result.
    • Her first attempt at using a Schnee summoning glyph while still learning the basics blows up in her face.
  • Eye Color Change: When using Yang's Semblance, the other members of the team also have their eyes turn red like Yang's do.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Roman is rather flabbergasted that no-one on Ozpin's side noticed any of the activity at Mt. Glenn, despite them running freight trains down in the old subway tunnels.
  • Fallen Hero: Roman Torchwick once tried his hand to be a Hunter, but had his license revoked after dealing too much with the criminal underworld while trying to find his missing sister.
  • Fantastic Racism: Plenty of it. Blake is repeatedly shown to be afraid to reveal her more animalistic traits out of fear of rejection. The pharmacy Blake goes to has a sign that says Faunus Welcome, which Yang notes shouldn't be necessary and implies that Faunus are not welcome in many others. There is also Kojak's hatred of the Schnee and specifically Blake's relationship with one due to the mistreatment his family suffered, as well as his disgust at her hiding her race.
  • Flaming Hair: Just like what happens when Yang uses it, the other members of Team RWBY have their hair affected by the use of Yang's Semblance, though none of them have a flame, exactly. Ruby gets a full red-haired, static-charged dye job, Weiss's gets more white and frosty, and Blake's goes violet and takes on a vapoury appearance.
  • Flat "What": This is Weiss's and Blake's reaction, in contrast to the sisters' Big "WHAT?!" above, to the news that Roman Torchwick is their uncle.
  • Flipping the Bird: Yang does this to Adam during their confrontation.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After Roman confronts Raven about Team STRQ just losing a teammate when they lost Summer, Raven quietly admits that she "lost more than that". Then comes The Reveal in Chapter 59, and we find out that Raven and Summer were the Official Couple of STRQ.
    • When Roman comments on the family dynamics of Team STRQ (quoted under Big, Screwed-Up Family above), although the words "mom" and "uncle" are thrown around a lot, the word "dad" is not mentioned at all, not even when used to describe Taiyang. It's later revealed that while Taiyang is Yang's biological father, it was Summer and Raven that were the girls' mothers, with Tai just being their godfather.
  • For Want of a Nail: With Blake on the run for almost a week during Season 1's finale, she forgot to refill her anti-heat prescription. Neo raided Beacon's student database looking for info on the students from the Season 1 finale battle. This causes the school to go into lockdown and triggers the whole plot.
  • From Bad to Worse: When Adam learns that Ghira is in Vale, he adjusts his plans to pull an I Have Your Wife with Blake.
  • The Gadfly: When Ruby starts getting worked up about Qrow's sword-scythe Harbinger, Yang decides to goad her little sister by commenting that it's "just a sword", setting Ruby off into a full-on espousing tirade.
  • Gambit Pileup: By now, Cinder's faction of herself, Adam Taurus and Roman Torchwick has practically devolved into an Enemy Civil War, with Cinder wanting to remain focused on her and Salem's plans to overthrow Ozpin, Adam wanting to throw all their resources away to deal with Team RWBY and his ex-Mate Blake (and is willing to go behind Cinder's back to do so), and Roman and Neo doing their best to coordinate with Roman's sister's old team to keep the girls safe, on account of finding out that he is an uncle to two of them.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Familial variant, Vernal assumed that this was the case about Raven's stories of Yang and Ruby, though she thought Raven had just lost them to a Grimm attack rather than having made them up entirely.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: Professor Ozpin did this to the Street Urchin Summer Rose and her brother Roman when she tried to pickpocket him. First, when they found out they only stole his empty wallet, he showed up carrying the stack of lien. Then, when she slugged him and they made a break for it, they found out that he has Hunter backup waiting.
  • The Glomp:
    • Blake does this to her parents when they make a surprise visit to Beacon.
    • Ruby does this to Neo after she finds out that via her long-lost uncle Roman, she is her cousin.
  • Ground Punch: Yang often does this to bleed off her excess stored energy while sparring.

  • Has Two Mommies: Turns out that it was Summer and Raven that were the Official Couple of STRQ, and the parents of Ruby and Yang (biological in the former's case). Taiyang was just the biological father of the latter and godfather to both.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Roman and Neo go through this over the span of numerous chapters, and it gets cemented in chapter 65 when the former blows Cinder's cover and reveals her plans to Ozpin's faction, Ilia, Penny, and team RWBY and their families.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ruby's first reaction upon learning that she is the daughter of Summer and Raven is a whole lot of confusion before she runs out of the room.
  • Heroic RRoD:
    • Ruby's Semblance involves channeling her Aura through her heart, and feels so free and joyful it's addictive. Luckily she's gotten used to it, but the other members of her team...
    • Yang repeatedly broke her arms from Pent-Up Power Peril while learning how to use her Semblance, which can still happen if she doesn't release that stored power.
  • Hidden Depths: Jaune is a lot more well-versed on Faunus and Mating than Teams RWBY and JNPR first thought: two of his sisters are wolf Faunus; actually his half-sisters from his father's first wife.
  • Honorary Princess: Much to Blake's embarrassment, a few people start calling her a princess when they learn just who her parents are.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: The members of team RWBY have this issue with the new Semblances they now have access to, averting Instant Expert. Ruby and Yang have a bit less trouble, due to being sisters and knowing how their Semblances work from years of training and living together, but there's still a learning curve.
  • I Am Spartacus: In STRQ's backstory: After Summer used the power of the Silver Eyes to wipe out a horde of Grimm, a Cult of Salem lynch mob came looking for the user of the Silver Eyes who had just erased their entire Grimm army. With Summer unconscious, Raven proclaimed herself the Silver-Eyed user, drew the cult away and managed to give them the slip... for that instance at least.
  • I Am What I Am: At the start of Act II, Blake's fear and desire to hide her identity as a Faunus clashes hard with her desire to proudly show off her new Faunus Mate's Mark, but eventually she decides to stop wearing her bow and publicly embrace her Faunus identity, with her teammates in full support.
  • I Am Not a Gun: When Ozpin finds out about James Ironwood and his plans for Penny with regards to the Fall Maiden's powers, he asks if Penny has had her own opinion taken into account, even though it's the whole reason she was built. Penny isn't sure.
  • I Have Your Wife: A variation: Raven tells Ozpin that her bandit/mercenary group had rescued and taken in a girl who turned out to be the Spring Maiden, and if Ozpin won't tell Raven what happened to her wife Summer Rose, he'll never get his hands on her.
    • Later, when he learns that Ghira is in Vale, Adam modifies his plan so he'll use Blake as bait for her father.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: According to Ghira Belladona's recounting, Nicholas Schnee, Weiss's grandfather, thought this about his bigoted and ruthless son-in-law Jacques. Right before he stepped down as the SDC CEO, he announced to the public that Jacques would become temporary CEO until someone of Schnee blood could take over. From Jacques' expression at that time, that was the first he heard of it too.
    • From what Weiss tells Blake about her brother Whitley, she believes he is just as unworthy as their father of running the SDC, which is why she has to be worthy of inheriting the CEO position over him.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: an understated example in chapter 41 when Winter downs her wineglass after hearing Weiss' explanation of how the Mates situation happened.
  • Interspecies Romance: Human-Faunus relationships are of course present in this story, but they're a little more complicated than at first blush, since humans can't give a Faunus a Mate's Mark, meaning that the Mindlink Mates relationship would be completely one-sided. Luckily, Weiss is smart and resourceful enough to find another solution for all four of them.
  • Instant Expert: Ha ha ha, no. Just because Team RWBY can use each other's Semblances now, that does not give them the knowledge of how to use them. They have to go through a lot of training in order to fully master their new abilities.
  • Irony:
    • Roman collapses into Mirthless Laughter when he finds out that Ruby stopping his robbery was the reason she was admitted early into Beacon Academy and why she and her team has been a constant thorn in his side.
    • Enraged at finding out his ex Blake is re-Mated, and to a Schnee, Adam Taurus enlisted both Roman and Ilia's help to deal with Team RWBY once and for all. Little does he know, thanks to Roman finding out that his team contains his two nieces, and Ilia's meeting with Chief Ghira, those two people are the last people to want the girls dead.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Blake's justification when Ilia finds out that the former had tried to hide being a Faunus while at Beacon.
  • Jaw Drop:
    • Winter has one when she sees Ruby, Blake and Yang using the Schnee family glyph Semblance.
    • Neo has one when she hears Roman and Raven argue about Roman's late sister Summer.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Kojak, a bear Faunus that has grown up in the rough side of Faunus Fantastic Racism, may be a jerk in how he condemned Blake for mating with a Schnee and tried to out her when they disagreed, especially since he doesn't know her past, but his points about how Blake is insulting their whole race by hiding her Faunus features and how she could've been a symbol instead hit more close to home than she'd like to admit.
  • Just Shoot Him: Roman's plan for dealing with Adam.
  • Late to the Punchline: It's only after they're in bed resting after crashing from using Ruby's Super Speed that Blake and Weiss realize what Yang meant about giving them a "crash course".
  • Lightning Bruiser: What happens when the team uses Ruby and Yang's Semblances simultaneously.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Roman to Ruby and Yang, by virtue of being their uncle. Legally speaking, this also makes Neo their cousin.
  • The Lost Lenore: Raven is willing to use the Spring Maiden to force Ozpin to devote every resource he has to finding out what happened to Summer Rose.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Turns out that though Summer is Ruby's mother, Taiyang isn't her father... Raven is. Ruby doesn't take the news well at first.
    • Roman tells Neo that during one heist where he had to forge adoption papers for her to get her out of jail, he found it faster to do the whole process legitimately instead, making Neo legally Roman's adoptive daughter.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Besides the general anti-Faunus racism some humans have, and the reactionary feelings of the Faunus as a result, it's noted more than once that Weiss's father is not going to be happy if/when he finds out about Weiss being Blake's mate, and possibly won't even acknowledge it, let alone accept it.
  • Mama Bear: Kali Belladonna has this reaction after talking to Blake. What's interesting is that Blake had just finished telling her about her new mate Weiss Schnee, and how Weiss herself is scared of her father Jacques.
  • Mating Season Mayhem: The story kicks off when Blake going into her monthly heat and it causes her trouble.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment:
    • After Kali Belladonna hears about everything that has happened with Blake since she ran away with Adam, what they had turned the White Fang into and Blake's eventual defection, she makes it very clear to her daughter that she does not blame her at all for it.
    • A downplayed example when it's revealed that Taiyang is only the girls' godfather, Yang's biological dad, and unrelated to Ruby by blood. When they finally get a chance to talk about it, Ruby gives him a hug anyway.
  • Million-to-One Chance: The odds of a Faunus Mated pair developing an Affinity (which is effectively a second Semblance) is 1 in 20, and most of them are pretty passive like sight sharing. So of course the Mated team of RWBY would develop one, and have it be an extremely potent one: copying the Semblances of any of the others.
  • Mindlink Mates: Generally the focus of the fic. These links are a normal part of Faunus mating and are formed by essentially implanting a piece of one's aura in another. They allow emotion sharing as well as a general feeling of the location of a Faunus' partner(s). They also allow something referred to as "instinct sharing" where one partner can send an action or series of actions to another. In rare cases the mixing of auras creates what is known as an Affinity, which is a kind of "second Semblance." In Team RWBY's case, this ends up being Semblance sharing, essentially allowing all four girls to use each others' Semblances.
  • Mistaken for Racist: As a Schnee, Weiss is subject to a lot of this, much to her dismay. On an occasion when Weiss bumps into Velvet and Coco (literally in the former's case), Coco takes offense to what she sees as a Schnee mistreating a Faunus friend. Weiss does a good job in defusing it though.
  • Mommy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: A main reason why Raven couldn't stick around to raise the girls is that she was the target of a very persistent lynch mob, specifically the Cult of Salem who were looking for the user of the Silver Eyes. With Summer in no shape to do any fighting at the time, Raven said that she was the Silver-Eyed maiden and became the target of the cult. After they escalated to assassinations, Raven decided the risk was too great for her family and chose to stay away.
    • Although Roman takes offense at the fact that Raven hadn't told Yang or Ruby anything about it for all of the girls' lives.
  • Mood Whiplash: Right after Roman has finished telling his solemn origin story to Yang and Ruby and how their mother Summer really was, he steps out to find Winter Schnee sticking her rapier in his face.
  • The Nicknamer: Roman has this habit, because he's a bit terrible with names. He calls Adam Taurus "Bully Boy", Cinder Fall "Matchstick", Team RWBY "Little Red", "Ice Queen", "Kitty-Cat" and "Sunshine" respectively, and Summer, Raven, Qrow and Taiyang "Sis", "Brainy Bird", "Birdbrain" and "Musclehead" respectively. His nieces also get "Rosebuds", due to being Summer's daughters.
  • The Nose Knows: Blake is capable of telling humans from Faunus by scent and it is implied that other faunus can do this as well; moreover, they can tell when a person is mated to a Faunus.
  • Not Helping Your Case: During a training exercise, Jaune has to face a challenge entirely on his own, and is his usual pessimistic self about it. Ren attempts to motivate him with the quote, "If you think you'll lose, you've already lost." It doesn't help.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: Roman is flabbergasted when he finds out that Ozpin, the man who virtually everyone trusts to know everything and keep Vale safe, had no idea of Cinder's plans, what she was doing in Mt. Glenn (despite freight train shipments regularly going in and out), or that she was masquerading as a student right under his nose. Heck, believing that Ozpin was The Omniscient was the only reason Roman went along with her insane plans in the first place, as he was expecting Ozpin and his allies to blow the whole crazy plan sky high at the best moment while he escaped.
    • Ozpin genuinely does not know what happened to Summer Rose, but Raven refuses to believe that, and is willing to use the threat of never seeing the Spring Maiden her tribe has in order to get him to devote every available resource to finding out where she is.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Weiss is flooded with panic when she sees Ruby, her new Mate, walking around the corner talking amiably with her sister Winter.
    • Ilia, who is being sent to Vale by Adam to deal with Blake, has this reaction when she realizes she is stuck on the same cruise as Blake's parents.
    • Roman has this reaction when it turns out that Adam did have a Plan B for their final encounter - involving a runaway train crashing into the abandoned station.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Roman gets absolutely livid when he hears from Raven that Ruby and Yang still don't know the truth of what happened between Team STRQ, completely ruining his plan of getting them out of danger.
    • How can Qrow convince Yang that Raven will actually show up when they ask to meet? He gives her his weapon Harbinger and tells her that if Raven doesn't show, it's hers to do whatever she likes to it, including smashing it. Ruby is horrified.
  • Only Sane Man: Roman finds himself in this position when trying to convince Raven and Qrow that they need to speak to Ruby and Yang, and though it will be difficult, they can handle it all like adults. Then he realizes he's turning into his sister Summer and immediately heads for the alcohol.
    Roman: Good Gods, I'm turning into Summer! What nightmare am I in where I'm somehow the must responsible one in the room? Gah, I need a drink.
    Qrow: How bad did we screw up that Roman is making sense?
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot:
    • When Sun and Neptune first catch up to the newly Mated Team RWBY, Neptune, not knowing a thing about Faunus Mating, tries to hit on Weiss. Needless to say, Yang and Blake take offense.
    • When Roman is reacquainted with Ruby and Yang as their long-lost uncle, his first words are to ask about Ruby's leg (which he broke). Cue Yang slugging him.
    • When Vernal finally lays eyes on Raven's daughters Yang and Ruby, her first stunned reaction is "...holy shit, you're real." Her boss is not amused.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • The chapter where Ghira Belladonna finds out about Adam's actions and what he did to both his organization and especially to his daughter is titled "Papa Panther". The only other detail needed is that it involves Ghira Flipping the Table.
    • When Taiyang finally confronts Roman about the Mini-Mecha he sicced on his daughters, Roman quickly grabs Neo and scrams.
  • Parental Substitute: Roman acting like a father to Neo, especially after it's revealed that legally she's his adopted daughter due to Roman filling out the paperwork and having a lawyer make it look like that had been the case for a while to get her out of jail (he meant to have it forged, but it turned out to be easier to do it legitimately). Neo's not sure how she feels about that information.
  • Pent-Up Power Peril: This is part of Yang's kinetic Energy Absorption Semblance. When she takes a hit, her Semblance amplifies the energy absorbed, but her body can only safely hold on to so much of it at once, and once that limit is surpassed by too much energy absorbed and/or amplified, Yang has to release it or risk it shattering her bones. Yang repeatedly broke her arms because didn't understand the limits of her Semblance and didn't discharge her stored energy fast enough.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Team RWBY decides to spend the last night before their plan to take out Adam Taurus being intimate.
  • Power Copying: Team RWBY's Affinity is to have each member able to use the Semblances of any or all of the others.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: This is the case when Team RWBY use Yang's Semblance; just like Yang's, their hair lights up bright, and even gains extra effects. Ruby gets a full red-haired, static-charged dye job, Weiss's gets more white and frosty, and Blake's goes violet and takes on a vapoury appearance.
  • Power High: Weiss and Blake find out that using Ruby's Super Speed is incredibly addictive. But just like any high, when a high comes down, it can crash hard, especially if you're going so fast that you forget to breathe.
    • They have a similar reaction to using Yang's Semblance, but Taiyang warns them that that's what led to Yang hitting her Pent-Up Power Peril limits and breaking her own bones.
  • Power Tattoo: Stage Two Mate's Marks are intricate designs that reflect the characteristics of both mates. They glow on a person whenever his/her mate is sharing their emotions with them. In RWBY's case, they also glow when one member is using another member's Semblance.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Roman only went along with Cinder's plan because he never thought she'd actually manage to succeed, having overestimated how much Ozpin and Ironwood had managed to notice, anticipating that he'd cut and run with their cash when Cinder and Adam got busted. As he points out to Winter, his whole operation boils down to stealing stuff so he can get money in order to prepare and steal more expensive stuff, thus allowing him to get even more money. Thus, what's the point of helping Adam and Cinder if there's no one left to steal from and nowhere to spend the money?
  • Pride Before a Fall: Team STRQ experienced this right out of graduation. Hailed as Beacon Academy's best, and high on the cockiness of youth, they accepted a mission that had them facing an entire horde of Grimm that would've been a challenge for five teams, and decided to take it all on by themselves instead of calling for backup. It was a literal miracle they all made it out alive.
  • Promoted to Parent: After their parents died in a Grimm attack, Summer Rose ended up becoming this to her little brother Roman.
  • Properly Paranoid: Roman has every right to be wary when two kids with remarkable resemblance to his missing sister Summer and her bandit wife Raven show up; it wasn't the first time he had a lead to his sister's whereabouts only for it to lead to one of his rivals with a grudge. Thus when he does see them, he decides to challenge them with a Paladin warmech to see if they're the real deal.
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • After The Reveal of her and Ruby's actual parentage, Yang's temper boils over and she ends up slugging Raven across the rooftop. In Yang's defense, Raven was asking for it.
    • Then she does it again to her Uncle Roman, though it's downplayed as she merely slugs him into the door behind him. For his part, he gets up and mentions that her father hits harder.

  • Quality over Quantity: During one of Ms. Goodwitch's training exercises where a team's leader fights a three-on-one with the members of another team, Ruby ends up facing Team CDRL (minus Cardin). Thanks in part to her new Mate bonds watching her back, she is able to come out on top. And she's the only leader who actually wins her fight.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Raven has delivered these to Ozpin multiple times, including one time where he put her team at risk, and especially over Summer Rose's disappearance, and Ozpin has reiterated he does not know what happened to her.
  • Rags to Riches: The basis of Summer Rose's origin. She was a Street Urchin who ended up pickpocketing Professor Ozpin, and the man was so impressed (and possibly noticed her Silver Eyes) that he offered her a scholarship at Beacon Academy.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Summer Rose counts, since she and her brother were Street Urchins before Ozpin found them and offered them scholarships to Beacon Academy (possibly since he noticed her Silver Eyes). After that, Ozpin had her loyalty for life, which her friends think maybe contributed to her accepting the mission that led to her disappearance without telling anyone, not her lover, not her brother, not her friends, and not her children.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In Chapter 65, right as Roman is about to be arrested by Winter and General Ironwood for his crimes, Ozpin steps up and explains that Roman had been in deep cover for him this entire time, much to everyone's surprise (including Roman himself). And when Ironwood objects, Ozpin reminds him of the secret that Ironwood had been hiding from him (Penny), upon which Ironwood decides to call them even.
    Roman: ...did... did I just get pardoned?
  • Related in the Adaptation: Summer Rose and Roman Torchwick are siblings.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Embodied as a literal phenomenon with Faunus Mate Marks, which come in stages. Stage One is a simple, temporary mark where the Mates share bits of their aura with each other, allowing them to feel each other more closely. Stage Two is the Mates accepting the others' aura and merging it with their own, forming a more intricate mark and a deeper connection (and possibly an Affinity), and will remain unless both parties agree to break their bond. Stage Three is like Stage Two, but permanent and irreversible.
    • One chapter involves Blake helping Coco and Velvet become Mates.
    • Also turns out to be the case for Summer and Raven, back in the day. They were the Official Couple of Team STRQ; Taiyang was never romantically involved with either of them (though he is godfather to Ruby and Yang and biological father of the latter).
  • Restrained Revenge: After finally meeting Raven again after four long years, Taiyang gets his own back on her by giving her a back-breaking Bear Hug.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Winter reveals that to use her family's glyphs, they must know exactly how the effect they're trying to replicate works. So, if one tries to use a gravity-cancelling glyph, they have to know exactly how gravity works. Ruby and Yang aren't that excited at the prospect of so much book-learning to learn glyph usage.
  • Retro Upgrade: After retrieving his old Hunter weapon Black Valentine, Roman comments that he hasn't used it in years and that it's a decade out of date. His co-brother-in-law Qrow, who had been keeping it all these years, tells him that he's maintained it and even modified it to use the newer dust rounds.
  • Revenge Before Reason: When he learns about his ex Blake finding new mates, Adam Taurus is so incensed that he's willing to throw away all his available resources and jeopardize his and his allies' plans to deal with her, and neither Cinder nor Roman is happy with that - though for very different reasons.
  • Reverse Mole:
    • Ozpin claims that Roman had been in deep cover in the criminal underworld for him the entire time, to get him out of hot water from Ironwood.
    • This is what Ilia claims to be within Ozpin's faction for the White Fang, when Adam calls her for a status update. She said that Ghira ate up her sob story to defect, which leads to Adam deriding his predecessor as soft-hearted. Little does he know...
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Averted. Both Roman and Ilia are enlisted by Adam Taurus to deal with Team RWBY, with neither knowing the other has a vested interest in keeping the girls alive. Luckily, scroll messages arrive in time to reveal that they both are on the same side.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Roman makes a hasty exit when Taiyang Xiao Long confronts him with the knowledge of what he did to his daughters.
  • See You in Hell: Right before Adam is about to order his goons to gun down Blake and the rest of Team RWBY, Blake tells him to go to hell. Adam says that he's sure he'll see her there.
  • Sibling Incest: Averted. Repeatedly. With a lot of shouted denials and disgusted reactions.
  • Somebody Set Us Up The Bomb: The Cult of Salem, targeting Raven as who they thought to be the Silver-Eyed Maiden, eventually escalated to gifting her a child's toy top which she then gave to her daughter Yang - which turned out to be a bomb.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Ozpin's whole plan involving the Maidens gets a hard swerve when Raven tells him that she has the Spring Maiden as a member of her group, but she won't hand her over to him unless he tells her what happened to Summer Rose.
  • Spotting the Thread: As Roman points out, given that Penny can fire laser beams, literally pull swords out of her back, and was disabled by an EMP, it wasn't hard for him to figure out that she was a robot, even without Cinder's intel.
  • Springtime for Hitler: This applies to Roman Torchwick's decision to help Cinder and her faction with her insane plan. Being pragmatic and not omnicidal, he fully expected to go along with it until Ozpin The Omniscient and his friends busted in and arrested Cinder while Roman slipped away with his profits and merchandise. He never expected Ozpin to not know a darn thing about the scheme or for it to get as far as it did without anyone putting things together.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Of sorts: Weiss Schnee, daughter and heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, is now mated to Blake Belladonna, daughter of Ghira Belladonna, leader of Menagerie and founder of the White Fang, the organization that protests against the SDC.
  • Street Urchin: The origin of siblings Summer Rose and Roman Torchwick. Their parents were killed in a Grimm attack, and they were put into an orphanage until it came up that they could be separated, whereupon they took to the streets doing whatever it was needed to stay alive.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Roman finds the sudden appearance of Ruby and Yang very unnerving, considering how much they look like their mothers. He ends up resorting to attacking them with a Paladin warmech just to confirm his suspicions and to find if they're the real deal, and the silver-eyed and red-eyed angry glares he gets do the trick.
    • Then later, when Ruby tries to defend him from Winter with a whole lot of Motor Mouthing, Roman mutters that she inherited Summer's gibberish.
    • And then, when Ruby and her Uncle Roman start exaggeratedly pouting at each other, Weiss and Blake find the resemblance downright Uncanny.
      Weiss: ...oh, gods, I can see it. Blake, how do I unsee it?
      Blake: When I find out, I'll let you know.
  • Stunned Silence:
    • Kali Belladonna has this reaction when she finds out that her daughter is Mated to Weiss Schnee.
    • Winter Schnee gets this, complete with Jaw Drop, when she witnesses all three of her sister's Mates creating glyphs, their family's own Semblance.
    • Almost all the Faunus in Beacon Academy go silent when Chief Ghira shows up.
    • This is everyone's reaction when Ozpin declares Roman is his deep cover agent to protect him from Winter and Ironwood.
    • Then Ozpin himself gets this reaction when Raven tells him that she has the Spring Maiden in her possession, and until he tells her what happened to Summer, she'll stay forever out of his reach.
  • Superpowerful Genetics:
    • The Schnee family glyph Semblance is this. So Winter has an interesting time teaching three outsiders who can use it as well how to use them.
    • Yang's Semblance is apparently similar to her father Taiyang's: both can absorb kinetic energy and enhance their strength with it, but while Yang can amplify the energy absorbed, she cannot store it for very long before it has to be released, whereas her father can only return as much energy as he absorbs, but can stack and store it for effectively forever. This is Played for Drama, since Taiyang had tried to teach Yang to use her Semblance exactly like his, causing a lot of pain, frustration, and shattered bones before they finally realized the problem.
  • Superpower Lottery: The ability of Team RWBY to use each other's Semblances due to being Mates is a very potent skill, especially when using the Semblances together, like combining Yang's with Ruby's Super Speed.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Roman finds himself having to do this when Ozpin declares him his deep-cover agent in the criminal underworld to get him off the hook from General Ironwood.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Raven has a big chip on her shoulder with regards to Ozpin, since she's sure he knows what happened to Summer despite him constantly denying it, but she's willing to work with him to keep her daughters safe from Adam Taurus.
  • Time for Plan B: What Adam Taurus says after his ambush is ambushed.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ilia is this to Blake. Which makes for some issues when Adam orders her back to Vale to deal with her defected friend.
    • It only gets worse when she sees with her own eyes that Blake and Weiss are Mates.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Roman can only hear it, but he can tell that Adam Taurus does not take the news that his ex Blake is not only interfering in their plans, but that she's Mated to someone else very well. Especially when he goes all Revenge Before Reason.
  • Villainous Valour: Neo takes offense to Roman insinuating that she'd jump ship as soon as he can't pay her, especially since he's attempting the admittedly suicidal mission of taking out Adam Taurus and going against the White Fang and their entire coalition, and throws an envelope of money back in his face to tell him that she doesn't care about the money, she's still sticking by him.
  • Warts and All: Roman makes it clear to Ruby and Yang that while their mother Summer started off as a law-breaking Street Urchin doing what she could to keep her and her little brother alive, she still grew up to be the supermom they both know her to be, who kept them safe her whole life.
  • Weapon of Choice: Black Valentine, Roman Torchwick's weapon in his pre-criminal Hunter days, and as befitting a kid who grew up on old mobster movies, switches between compact, short sword, and drum-magazine Tommy gun modes. Designed and up-kept by his co-brother-in-law Qrow.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 59, where a big part of the truth of Team STRQ and the lineage of Ruby and Yang is finally revealed.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Chapter 46, Roman gives a major one during a shouting match with Raven over why he's so angry over how Team STRQ has handled Ruby and Yang.
    Because you all just lost a teammate. I lost my sister!
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Downplayed; the morning after, Blake remembers the events leading up to team RWBY's first night together, but the details of the act itself got lost in the heat.
  • With Friends Like These...: Roman has this very bickering relationship with Raven and pretty much the rest of her old team. Understandable since his sister used to lead it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The cult hunting the Silver-Eyed maiden (who they believe to be Raven), eventually escalate to assassinations, and even once delivered an explosive disguised as a toy top to their home, which went off while a four-year-old Yang was playing with it. It was lucky she survived. That was what convinced Raven that she had to leave.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • When Team JNPR first see Blake in public with her ears on full display, they waste no time telling her that they have no problems with her being a Faunus whatsoever.
    • Villainous (or Anti Villainous) example: Neo refuses to abandon Roman even when he can't pay her and is planning on turning on Adam Taurus, and by extension, Cinder.
    • Ghira and Kali make clear to their daughter's new mate Weiss that if her father rejects her relationship, their house in Menagerie would always be open to her. And that goes for her sister Winter as well. Both Schnee siblings are incredibly touched.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Roman has this reaction when Taiyang and Qrow throws him into a room with Raven, Ruby, and Yang, the latter two of which he has just found out he's related to.
    • General Ironwood asks if Ozpin is joking when he hears that Raven has the Spring Maiden in her possession and will only give her up for information that she believes Ozpin to have, but doesn't.

Example of: